Elizabeth Quay inlet filling with water with bridge and Bell Tower in background
26 November 2015

The Big Dig

  • Elizabeth Quay

The excavation of the inlet at Elizabeth Quay is now complete bringing the river and the city together again.

Bulk excavation activities or The Big Dig as it was called ran from April until mid November 2015 and involved the removal of around 150,000 cubic metres of soil. 

The pedestrian and cyclist bridge is nearing completion and once finished we will begin installation of the public art pieces. 

An step by step guide to the excavation program is outlined below. 

The First Bit

A total of 150,000 cubic metres of soil will be removed which is enough to fill over 60 Olympic size swimming pools.

The bulk excavation is progressing rapidly with diggers moving from the north to the south of the inlet removing around 4,000 tonnes a day of soil and Guildford Clay.

Diggers working to excavate the inlet at Elizabeth Quay

The Next Bit

Ground water will start to rise up and slowly fill the inlet with testing and monitoring of the water quality continuing throughout the entire excavation process.

The pedestrian bridge needs to be constructed on land, so next the arches will be lifted into place. 

 Excavation will  continue in the south and the man made granite wall will be removed. The silt curtain will remain in place to protect the Swan River.

Ground water starting to rise during inlet excavation

After That

The final area of land surrounding the bridge will be excavated with all of the Guildford Clay being sent off to the brick makers.

Once the water quality has passed the test the silt curtain will be removed bringing the river into the inlet.

The final area of land is being excavated at Elizabeth Quay

The End

Now that the inlet is full, works to add the finishing will continue in the public realm. This includes laying one million granite pavers by hand and the installation of public art.

The inlet is filled with water

Visit our Elizabeth Quay project page for more. 

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